The Jimtown Raft

Jamie Braid and I are members of the Jimtown Department of Public Works under the direction of our Mayor, A.J. Sears.

Jimtown isn't actually a town.

A.J. is called the mayor because he does everything for everyone and pours powerful refreshments at council meetings on his deck.

We're his public works department because he's attempting to train us in how to help out our community while having fun.

One of our greatest responsibilities is the Jimtown Raft.

All the kids who come to the beach each summer from all over look forward to playing on the raft.

And every few years it gets destroyed in a storm.

So when that happened three years ago A.J. told us that if we wanted to build a new one we could just put the lumber on his account at Home Hardware.

We didn't tell him what we planned to build nor what the lumber bill would be.

The problem, we figured, with previous rafts was that they were square.

So when they hung from their two anchors in a heavy sea - Jimtown is in George's Bay which is susceptable to northeasterly winds whistling in from the Gulf of St. Lawrence - they inevitably got beat up.

The raft needed to be shaped like a ship, not only to look cool, but to keep its bow pointed into a sea so it could ride the waves rather than be beat apart by them

So we built a raft, framed out underneath with 2 by 10s, that was shaped like an old sailing ship with a poop deck, forward deck and a little mast. Then there was the issue of flotation.

Raft floats are actually quite expensive for what they are - plastic jugs.

A.J. got old plastic barrels from a neighbouring dairy farm that had once held the sanitizer used to wash cows' udders. So those became our floats.

Three years in, the raft still floats.


Aaron Beswick